Support the Monkey! Tell All your Friends and Teachers
retained perforce rather more initiative, if less of every other
human character, than the Upper. And when other meat failed
them, they turned to what old habit had hitherto forbidden. So I
say I saw it in my last view of the world of Eight Hundred and
Two Thousand Seven Hundred and One.
It may be as wrong an explanation as mortal wit could invent. It is
how the thing shaped itself to me, and as that I give it to you.
‘After the fatigues, excitements, and terrors of the past days, and in
spite of my grief, this seat and the tranquil view and the warm
sunlight were very pleasant. I was very tired and sleepy, and soon
my theorizing passed into dozing.
Catching myself at that, I took my own hint, and spreading myself
out upon the turf I had a long and refreshing sleep.
‘I awoke a little before sunsetting. I now felt safe against being
caught napping by the Morlocks, and, stretching myself, I came on
down the hill towards the White Sphinx. I had my crowbar in one
hand, and the other hand played with the matches in my pocket.
‘And now came a most unexpected thing. As I approached the
pedestal of the sphinx I found the bronze valves were open. They
had slid down into grooves.
‘At that I stopped short before them, hesitating to enter.
‘Within was a small apartment, and on a raised place in the corner
of this was the Time Machine. I had the small levers in my pocket.
So here, after all my elaborate preparations for the siege of the
White Sphinx, was a meek surrender. I threw my iron bar away,
almost sorry not to use it.
‘A sudden thought came into my head as I stooped towards the
portal. For once, at least, I grasped the mental operations of the
Morlocks. Suppressing a strong inclination to laugh, I stepped
through the bronze frame and up to the Time Machine. I was
surprised to find it had been carefully oiled and cleaned. I have
suspected since that the Morlocks had even partially taken it to
pieces while trying in their dim way to grasp its purpose.
‘Now as I stood and examined it, finding a pleasure in the mere
touch of the contrivance, the thing I had expected happened. The
bronze panels suddenly slid up and struck the frame with a clang.
I was in the dark-trapped. So the Morlocks thought. At that I
‘I could already hear their murmuring laughter as they came
Very calmly I tried to strike the match. I had only to fix on the
levers and depart then like a ghost. But I had overlooked one little
thing. The matches were of that abominable kind that light only on